Movement 1: Non in pratis aut in hortis
Movement 2: Ibi spinis confixus
Movement 3: Pro me caput spinas habet
Movement 4: Quaesone facias, Domine
The emotional core of RV641 is its solitary central aria, which successfully conveys a mood of dignified lamentation appropriate to Passiontide. This movement epitomizes Vivaldi’s ability to achieve overpowering expression by the very simplest means. Geltruda reportedly had a soft voice, and one notes Vivaldi’s constant efforts (by muting, or temporarily omitting, the strings) to ensure that the singer is never drowned.
It is impossible to carry out Vivaldi’s original intention by appending the Miserere, but to allow RV641 to have no sequel at all is equally impossible. This recording resolves the problem pragmatically by following this introduzione with the Stabat mater, which is at least related by key, mood, subject, season and period of composition, even if it belongs to a different liturgy.
from notes by Michael Talbot © 1999